State of Disaster Recovery 2016.

2016 Disaster Recovery Survey Reveals Latest DR Statistics from Industry Pros

As part of this year’s State of Disaster Recovery initiative, Zetta surveyed 403 professionals in the IT field to better understand their experience with IT disaster recovery, their plans and solutions, difficulties and response to downtime events. The survey was conducted online in October 2016 and included companies in over 20 industries, varying in size from less than 50 to more than 1,000 employees.

Some Telling Disaster Recovery Statistics

Cloud disaster recovery (DR) is building confidence among IT pros. Our survey found that 91% of IT pros using cloud as part of their DR solution feel confident in their disaster recovery strategy. Only 74% of respondents using on-premise DR solutions alone feel confident.

Growing Need for DR Planning and Testing  

Do you have a documented DR plan?

The survey found that 40% of organizations do not have a formally documented disaster recovery plan to guide them in the event of an outage. The same number (40%) of companies test those DR plans only once annually. Another 28% rarely, if ever, test their DR plan. Unfortunately the case has been the same in previous years as well, and DR testing frequency remains inadequate.

The Connection Between Disaster Recovery Planning and DR Confidence

According to the survey findings, planning and DR strategy confidence are directly related. 78% of those who feel confident in their company’s DR strategy have a formally documented plan.  Only 38% of those who reported they are very unconfident have a documented DR plan at all. Companies with more than 500 employees are more apt to have a DR plan (74% of respondents in companies of this size), while only 54% of companies with less than 500 employees surveyed have a DR plan.

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Most Common Causes of IT Downtime

The survey revealed that the most common reasons for IT downtime are power outages, hardware issues, human errors and virus or malware attacks.

One of the survey questions asked if, in the past five years, the respondents have experienced an outage lasting more than 8 hours.  More than half (54%) of IT professionals have experienced this.

There is a common misconception that extended downtime events are mostly the result of natural disasters.  The disaster recovery survey results stand contrary to that belief.  The most common causes of downtime those surveyed experienced include:

  • Power outage (75%)
  • Hardware error (53%)
  • Human error (35%)
  • Virus/malware attack (34%)
  • Data corruption (26%)
  • Unexpected updates and patches (24%)
  • Natural disaster (20%)
  • Unexpected updates and patches (24%)
  • Expected updates and patches (20%)
  • Onsite disaster (11%)

How Critical is Reliability?

When surveyed about the most important factors in a DR solution, 54% of respondents said “reliability,” followed by usability and simplicity (16%), cost (16%), and finally speed of recovery (15%).  

Cost of Downtime

The critical importance of reliability as a factor in a DR solution is probably a result of the high cost of downtime.

Here are some fast facts:

  • 67% estimate that their business would lose more than $20,000 in a downtime event
  • 27% report that downtime would cost more than $100,000 per event.

Additionally, IT professionals are concerned about more than just loss of revenue. Here are some of the other concerns with downtime events:

  • Loss of employee productivity
  • Delayed product/service delivery
  • Damage to company brand/reputation
  • Loss of customers
  • Incurring significant recovery cost

What Did You Do After Your Last Downtime Event?

If you said “reevaluate your DR strategy,” you aren’t alone. In fact, following their last downtime incident more than half (55%) of our DR survey respondents changed their DR strategy or approach, 55% changed or added additional DR technology and 39% grew their investment in Disaster Recovery. A quarter are planning to increase their DR testing frequency or process.